Vision Mobile has focused its knowledge, passion and innovation in hosting this week’s Carnival here. Wander down the midway for the top ten blog posts of the week about mobile.
A post that I wrote for iCommons.org is now online here. Addressed to the website’s international audience, it is illustrated with the faucet shown here from my bathroom sink and introduced with a story about sinks without faucets. You can read the full post on iCommons if it’s of interest to you. Its conclusion is:
Seeing even farther is a second challenge, and one that is extremely important for education in these changing times. For learning to move, as it must, to become Internet-based on a global scale, learning will have to adopt mobile connectivity. The reason is quite simple: 1 billion people have access to the Internet without using mobiles and nearly 2 billion more than that are connected into the new wireless world only by mobile phone. The likelihood of more people getting desktops is fading while the hope of nearly everyone in the new generations having a mobile connection is very real.
By the time the little girl whose eyes laughed at me for being impressed by the automatic water this morning, is in high school, she can have a mobile device that connects her with a vast Internet learning commons. She will then interact on that platform with student and teaching commoners worldwide, in order to have access to the common knowledge of humankind. We now need to think months and years into the future to make that happen.
This week’s Carnival, hosted by Martin Sauter, is up and running at Martin’s Mobile Technology Page. As Martin says, introducing the review blog posts: once again, there are great ideas out there on the future of the mobile Internet.
Perhaps in the past texts from ancient times could be locked away in collections where rights to entry were limited and controlled. But as documents created by peoples of the past become digitized, it seems very likely that they will be openly available in the growing global commons. A story here today in It’s Indie Time discusses these questions concerning collections from Mysore University that are about to be digitized by Google:
Several hundred thousand ancient manuscripts in India are about to enter google’s digitization machines. Mysore university has announced that its treaure-trove of old books and palm leaf manuscripts including the famous Arthashastra by Kautilya, books on Ayurvedic medicine, yoga, mathematics, science, astrology will be digitized by google.
The young men shown above are roomates crowded into a tiny dorm room where they all live at a university in Senegal. The image is from a New York Times report here about crowding and deterioration of Africa’s universities. (PHOTO: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)
Is the problem this picture presents solvable? Certainly dormitories cannot be built in time for the students in the picture, each of whom would move through college faster than the building could be done —even if the money and planning were now in place. For the same reason, the classroom shortage the crowding represents in the picture cannot be solved for the current generation of African students.
Imagine though, putting a smart phone into the hands of each of these young men. Giving them the mobile phones could be accomplished almost immediately. With broadband transmission reaching the campus, these young men would be able to do their research, learn from open educational resources and supplement their classes online using their mobiles. We may not be able to save the universities for this generation, but we can hand them a great deal of education by providing them with the transmission and their mobiles.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum hosts the website here where you can: “Take a virtual journey to meet American Indians of the 1830s with artist, ethnologist, and showman George Catlin. This site compiles paintings, historical documents, and commentary from contemporary experts so you can explore the intersections of two cultures, both in Catlin’s time and today.” History
The Carnival is in town and open at Steve Litchfield’s 3-Lib. Drop by to read the best blog posts of the week — and to find out how and when Steve’s website received its “slightly odd” name.
Continuing its good habit of putting superior open science learning materials online, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Silencing Genomes sets out new principles of genetic science. The tutorial focuses on RNAi, discovered in the roundworm C. elegans. via Scout Report, Molecules and cells
Tufts University offers Opencourseware for a variety of scientific and other subjects. One of the courses, which you can click to is Rodent and Small Mammal Medicine. The webpage that a click will lead you to has valuable information on the diseases and treatment of the smallest animals we humans keep as pets. It also has this quotation from from David L. Graham, D.V.M. PhD.:
“Now, ponder, please that thought of the Bard’s ‘what’s in a name?’ Like, for example, ‘Pocket Pets’? In my humble opinion all veterinarians should abjure use of the term ‘pocket pets.’it is (at least to me and few colleagues) offensive and denigrating to the inherent uniqueness and dignity of those creatures that happen to be of such small size that they can fit into a pocket. The term suggests that such pets can be maintained in a more casual and less careful, less caring, and less thoughtful manner than is required for maintenance of other, more traditional companion animal species. Such creatures are of no lesser biological and moral consequence than are larger, more traditional pets. I’m sure that the cute alliteration of the term is a major reason for its acceptance, but I urge that some other rubric(s) be coined under which to group these relatively diminutive companion animals. Please, they are sugar gliders, gerbils, hedgehogs, mice (‘wee sleekit beasties’ – R. Burns), small pets, little small animals (to differentiate them from dogs and cats which are merely ’small animals’), minipets …but please…not ‘pocket pets.’”
The fellows in the image are from a blog called The Art and Craft of Toy Design here. If you go to their webpage and play the YouTube video you can watch them interact with a laptop in a game for small children. The blog is based at the Parsons New School for Design. I found the link on the website I had just posted about Harry Potter’s toothbrush. Open educational resources online link to each other and form weblets of learning. Very cool stuff, especially when you run into Harry and plus lions and monkeys.
Harry’s brush is from Toy Product Design projects described here in Massachusetts Institute of Technology Opencourseware. MIT invites you to see how this team approach to teaching toy design takes place:
“Each team began the toy-design process by creating concept drawings of three different ideas for dental products. The team members then made sketch models, which are quick and simple models used to test their ideas. With customer and mentor advice, the teams then chose two of their ideas for which they further developed the most critical design elements. Finally, each team made an alpha prototype of their best concept that worked and looked like a real product.”